Rochdale were beaten for the first time in 2011 as they were undone by the superior finishing of MK Dons in a 4-1 defeat.
Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler has been working with the Dons strikers and he would have been proud to put his name to any one of three stunning goals the visitors scored in the first half.
The first arrived 15 minutes in when Daniel Powell powered past Joe Widdowson on the right flank and his pull-back to the near post was met by Rowan Vine who flashed a volley past Owain Fon Williams in the Dale goal.
Minutes later, the Dons doubled their advantage with Luke Chadwick squaring to Powell and he slammed home side-footed from 20 yards.
The visitors' third goal was a stunner, Stephen Gleeson seizing on a poor clearance and lining up a 25-yard volley that flew past Fon Williams into the top corner of the net.
The home side scored a consolation late on when Will Atkinson's corner was met by Liam Dickinson and forced over the line by Craig Dawson. But the Dons were awarded a penalty when Dickinson handled Jabo Ibehre's shot and Sam Baldock sent his shot straight down the middle of Fon Williams' goal.